Around the world with S/V Zephyr

The adventures of Bill & Tracy as they fulfill their lifes dream of sailing the world. We've dreamed of this for years and now is the time while the health is still good and there is money in the kitty to make it come true.

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
09 March 2018 | Mazatlan, Mexico
08 March 2018 | Punta de Mita, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
07 March 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
24 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
24 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
24 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
16 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
14 February 2018 | Paradise Village, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

more wind

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
More wind today but due to slowdown by late Wednesday so the forecasters say. Meanwhile we sit, read, play games and watch other boats come and go. The south lobe of the bay must be quite full as we've seen numerous boats go in and come backout looking for a different place to drop the hook. Kayakers have come and gone with the beach at the head of our cove now empty and only two other boats in the section of the bay that we can see. A larger yacht and another sailboat, both in the center cove. We now have the north cove to ourselves. Lunch today was a chicken spaghetti made with two sauces we bought in South Africa two years ago. Both made by InaPaarman, one being, Tomato, Olive and Chilli and the other sauce was Roasted Pepper. Neither jar was big enough to feel two people so we combined then in one big sauce and have some leftovers. Since we've been out on anchor, we've been going through some of our older sauces and mixes trying to clean out some of the older stuff we've had on board for a while. Yesterday was Chicken Enchilladas with the last of our corn tortillas and we used an older can of green chilis we found in one of our boxes. Tracy is getting creative. Since it's no longer a weekend, we have far less tourists coming out to play on the beach in the center cove but we're far enough away we never heard them just saw them coming and going in fast pangas, normally after a visit to the nature park at Los Islotes just north of here. With the winds due to let us some tomorrow, we will probably launch Puff and explore the neighborhood. with all this winds, the seas have been quite stirred up. We've taken to keeping Zephyr pretty well closed up to keep the heat in from the Sun so it's not so cold at night. Even putting in the hard doors instead of the screen door in the main companionway to keep the breeze out. Sure is nice to be back in the Baja1

It just keeps blowing.

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
It's now Monday night and the winds continue hitting in the mid 20 knot range out in the Sea of Cortez and in the high teens in our anchorage.. The primary boats that have been moving since this blow started yesterday are larger power boats to yachts. We had a 118 footer in here for th last two days till they left earlier this afternoon. We've seen lighter sailboats bashing into the swells as they power northward sometimes their bows flying up in the air and crashing back down only to be thrown up again. Over and over makes for a very hard trip. Some that are coming south have stopped in our bay(Endenada Grande) and many have passed us by on their way to La Paz or a different anchorage along the islands shoreline. It's now almost 2200 and it's still blowing but as of now, we have one sailboat in the center cove of the bay and several in the south with us being the only ones in the north. We do have a bunch of kayakers on shore about to start off making their way down to La Paz getting dropped off here this afternoon being ferried from La Paz. Now they will have to contend with 20 plus knot winds ad up to 8 foot swells if they venture just off shore on their way back south. Not an enviable trip. A power boat goes ahead of them and sets up camp as they move along ferrying all their gear--tents, food and water. The boat that's now anchored in the middle cove had planned on anchoring right in front of us but as they were coming in, they saw all the kayakers on the beach and changed course for the middle cove not wanting to be near them. It's the second group that's been here since we got here last Friday and they are no problem being very quiet and don't stay long.

Its been blowing all day so the wind generator on our stern is spinning well and making some valuable amps for the batteries but we are still forced to run our generator as it just can't keep up with our demand no matter how small it is(about 6 amps per hour). Not the best piece of equipment on board. Now that we are in the perpetually sunny Sea of Cortez, we might be adding solar panels to Zephyr. We have closed all the hatches, port lights and even the dorades to keep the cold wind outside and relay on the warmth of the sun to keep us warm inside though we have done more cooking and baking to put more heat inside the cabin. Today's lunch was Chicken Enchiladas. What a great treat!

The winds are due to last till sometime on Wednesday if the forecasters are to be believed. We think the parts we ordered should be in by the end of the week and we'd like a little less wind for the trip back down to La Paz. Getting down the channel into La Paz in big winds isn't a fun trip. Time will tell but we bring up a new forecast three times a day to see if there are changes. There isn't any internet here so we rely on our SSB radio to get them for us. We check some boxes on the computer screen that's attached to the radio, indicate what info we need and it finds it and downloads it on to the computer. It's how we also post these posts.

As the wind blows, we play some Mexican Train dominoes and read and play the occasional video game on our computers. We'd like to do more outside but it's just too windy and with the wind, the temperature drops the chill factor making it downright cold out on deck. We'll see how the rest of the week goes but tomorrow is supposed to be just like today.

The "Buffaloes" are running!!

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
In the Sea of Cortez, when the winds kick up out of the northwest and come barreling down the sea, it stirs up lots of waves and swells all with white tops of foam making their way south. We found out years ago that the terminology for this was that the "Buffaloes are running" . When that happens, it's a good time to just pull into a protected anchorage if you can and if you're not pressed to get somewhere by a certain time. Salish Sea that was with us and took off yesterday morning was trying to get to Guymas by the end of the month from what they said, hence their leaving yesterday after a short night here. Others are coming and going all the time,, especially if they are a charter boat. Last night about 2100, I went on deck to check things out as we were having a bit of a blow from the east and thought I saw a boats steaming light at it rounded the south end of the bay. About an hour later we heard an anchor chain getting dropped quite close to our stern. I walked out and found that boat had dropped just off our stern and was slowly backing up letting out lots of chain as they went. We saw today that they are called "True Love", a lightweight Hunter 38 with lots of extra tanks on deck for fuel and water. With the winds we are having today, we can see why they stretched the anchoring time so late. We never like to enter a bay at night but have done it if we have to. They are now about 100 yards off our stern, safe and sound. The last forecast we had was for the winds to be kicking up tomorrow but it's been breezy here since late yesterday afternoon. I'll be pulling up a new forecast when I post this blog. With the wind coming in the way it is, we are only in trouble if it shifts from the southwest, a rare thing here. With tall cliffs off to our left, it takes all the wind over us of it it comes at out bow from the east, it's still slowed by the cliffs to the east so we are in a good place for just about any wind that comes our way. Tracy made scones for breakfast! Using the oven helps to put a bit more heat inside the cabin where this time of year it's appreciated.

A power boaters day

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
It's been blowing about all day, out of the of the north to north east making it hard for sailboats to make their way north in the Sea of Cortez. Power boats have been the boat of choice to make any headway today unless you are going south and then that's a different matter. We've seen many sailboats pass our bay heading south along the coast and a few stopped in. One did in the late afternoon and headed for the south cove here in Ensenada Grande only to see how many boats there were already anchored and promptly turned around and headed farther south for a different cove. The sailboat, True Love that came in late last night sat here all day, even launching their dinghy this afternoon. With the forecast for the next 48 hours continuing to be out of the north and with speeds of 15-20 knots, we figured they would be here for several day but I just went out to check our anchor and lighting only to find they are gone. It's calmed down a bit over the last few hours and I guess they decided it was a good time to take off father north in the sea. By early this morning,we had 6 big power boats(up to 118 feet long)anchored in the middle cove pulling out their assorted toys to play in the water as more and more tour boats full of tourists that had been taken to Los Islotes to snorkel with the sea lions came in for an afternoon at the beach in the center cove. Being Sunday, there were lots but all in all, a quiet bunch of people that unless you knew they were there, you wouldn't know. Fine by us but I'm sort of glad True Love has moved on. Having then about 75 yards away from our stern after enjoying the peace and quiet of having the place to our selves just didn't sit well with me. We had tons of people when we were in the Caribbean that parked their boats close by and we got used to that as there really wasn't a choice and the anchorages were normally small and the population of boats was huge. Here, not so much. At least tomorrow, if we are lucky, we will have the north cove to ourselves The winds that are forecast to be here tomorrow through Wednesday are set to be in the 20 to 25 knot range and as close as we are to the tall cliffs to the north and east of us, most of the winds go over us yet give us enough so our wind generator spins well. We will see what tomorrow brings. Earlier today, I found the solar powered sidewalk light that we found in the US Virgin Islands. I put it out to charge and then attached it to the stern end of the boom so boats that might come in at night will see the flashing light right down at water line and not have to look at the top of our mast to see that we are here. We also have two flashing lights that put out a blue light that we bought in Thailand. No navigation lights glow blue so anyone coming in will know it's a boat of some kind and not a navigation light.

Jobs and winds

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
It's now Saturday afternoon and we spent out first day here in Ensenada Grande. Yesterday, after taking a "Catch up" nap, I came out only to ge greeted with the fact that another sail boat had invaded out nice quiet cove. My response to Tracy was "Who invited them into OUR cove? We are used to having it to ourselves since most boats grap a place either at the south anchorage or the middle, but rarly here in the north lobe. Salish Sea, a nice looking boat was anchored a bit farther into the cove. We knew we had met them some time in the past but have no clue. We exchanged greeting and one of their first questions was "Do you have a blog?" My answer was of course, "Yes". Their response was that they had been following us for many years as we made our way around and had last read out posts when we were in the Caribbean. We exchanged more pleasantries including the fact that when they rounded the point and started coming into the north lobe, Mr. Salish Sea was made that someone was iin "Their" cove. What a coincidense that we both felt the same. Everyone that has traveled the Sea of Cortez has favorite places to stop and can be quite protective over them relishing the quiet and solidarity of "their" coves. We both laughed at both of us feeing the same way and went on to yell across the distance between the boats stories and plans. They are headed for Guymas to ge hauled out in a few weeks and would be leaving today to get farther north while the winds are good. Nasty 20+ knot winds are forecast for next Monday for several days so it pays to make distance when you can. It wasn't supposed to be windy today but we have winds in the mid teens as I'm typing this out of the east to northeast which would make sailing north pretty good if you can get the right angle. Really great if you are headed south.

All the boats that were in Ensenada Grandes three coves have taken off including a 200 foot tour boat(Safari Adventure) that came in to our bay late in the afternoon having passed our bow as we rounded the top of Isla Partida yesterday early morning. Theydeployed tons of water toys for their guests but kept to them selves not disturbing any of us. They left sometime during the night for their next anchorage. All the others have left during the morning with more coming in to take their place but everyone is staying out of "OUR" nice cove. Early this morning, I started up our Yamaha generator only to find it wasn't puttting our any volts. Well RATS!!! Not what we wanted to hear. I checked it with my volt meter and it appeared dead except that it ran. I checked it a few hours later and this time, it was putting out some really nice volts and amps for our batteries. We'd run the engine for about 90 minutes before I restarted the generator and once it was running right, we let her run for another 45 minutes or so. The batteries are now nicely charged and I've turned on the Duo Gen wind generator on the stern so it's putting out a few amps for us as well.

This morning, we grabbed rags and some really find sand paper and started in on cleaning off the rust on our stainless steel. Not hard work but with nets attached to all the lifelines and stantions, it's not the easiest to get to all the nitches in the steel. We also found that the bow nav light was not working so once we were done, I took it apart and cleaned the contact and bulb and now she lights up fine. Only problem is that at sometime, it got hit by something and the notches along the top of the light that keep the top closed have been broken allowing water into the fitting hence the corrosion. Once I'd gotten it closed, I put some electrical tape over the separated seam and sealed it as best I could.

For lunch, Tracy made us some Thai chicken with red curry. It's much hotter than the normal green curry and what she couldn't eat, well I was just fine at cleaning up her plate as well. Oh so yummy and there is even some left for another smaller meal. Don't mind if I do!! As of now, we sit, relax and watch more boats come and go in Ensenada Grande just to see if anyone will join us. Sure hope not.

Into Ensenada Grande

16 March 2018 | 24 33.998N:-110 24.440W
We pulled into Endsenada Grande about 0730, 46 hours after leaving Mazatlan. In total, about 240 miles, all of it motoring or motor sailing.. The lack of wind was expected and what we had hopped for as it normally comes out of the northwest making it much harder to get here. With no wind, it wasn't cheap getting here but it was trouble free. As we moved along, I typed periodic updates of where were and how were were doing and what we had seen but I did it on the IPad figuring I could upload it on the internet once we made La Paz but, since we delayed our arrival till the parts we ordered came in, that won't be for about a week or so. Sorry!

As for the last day or so getting here, well the day started out nice and sunny and quickly turned overcast and threw in some fog late in the evening just to make the trip more interesting. We saw a few boats from time to time and more on our AIS but most avoided us staying many miles away. With AIS, they can see us and make sure we are well off their course. Once the fog cleared earlier this morning, the stars were out beautifully in the night sky. Now that we are at anchor, we can sit out at night on the stern deck and watch them though the incredible dew that soaks the decks every night might make us rethink that. We;ll see tonight. As we got closer to the top end of Isla Partida, I saw a blinking light on the horizon, pretty much right off our bow. I adjusted the auto pilot to starboard so we would go around what ever it was. I checked our chart plotter and found out it was a light beacon on Isla Islotes off the north side of Partida. It's a huge nature preserve with tons of sea lions living there year round and a great place to visit and play with them. We did it 9 years ago when we were last in the neighborhood. As we rounded the point into Ensenada Grande, there were about a half dozen boats of all sizes already at anchor but none in the north cove where we have anchored in the past. Several trawlers as well as at least one charter catamaran in in the big bay. As the morning has gone along(its now 0925, several of the boats have already left but it's a big party place on the weekends so it could be a loud night ahead.. We will see tonight. I'll post my long post about our trip as soon as I can.
Vessel Name: Zephyr
Vessel Make/Model: Shin Fa 458
Hailing Port: Denver, Colorado
Crew: Bill & Tracy Hudson
About: We've been sailing since the early 80's on lakes in New Mexico and Colorado and finally took the plunge and bought Zephyr.
We moved on board in April of 2008 and have been working and sailing her ever since. Up to Alaska and down to Mexico and across the Pacific to Fiji. From Fiji to the Philippines and down to South Africa for Christmas 2015. We've now made it to the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal. With [...]
Home Page: http::/
Zephyr's Photos - Kudat--local photos
Photos 1 to 39 of 39 | Main
A bunch of cruisers gathered at the Canteen just off the golf course.
The primary mode of cooking at the restaurant.  Make one dish in the wok and serve it.  Make the next dish and serve it.  We haven
Two more burners but don
One of the local billiard halls.
Sunday afternoon, downtown.  Just about every one is closed.  This is the second largest grocery store in Kudat.
This hotel burned a few weeks before we got here.
The largest grocery store in Kudat.  By US standards, it would have closed long ago.  Above it is another hotel(The Upper Deck).
A bus stop in the center of town.  Unfortunately, there are no buses in town.  Stand here and a local will probably stop and give you a lift for a ringitt or two.
I was near the "bus stop" and this man stopped and picked me up.  Two ringitts and he took me all the way to the office in the boat yard.
Downtown Kudat.  Long sidewalks with the occasional road cutting across the walk ways.  It
Downtown Kudat on a Sunday afternoon.  90 percent of the stores are closed by 1400.
The second billiard hall in town.  Always busy.
Empty sidewalks on a Sunday afternoon.
I showed a picture of this boat a week or so ago with nothing on the side.  He
A burned out boat in the yard.  The yard had reposessed the boat when the owner hadn
The Penuwasa Boat Yard taken from the top of my mast.  It
The slipway.  Big and wide and deep.  Easy to get in and out as long as the wind isn
The main office at Penuwasa.
The restrooms or "comfort stations" as they are called out here.  Each boat in the "better, more expensive" area of the yard gets their own.
Shower, big sink(wash your dishes), toilet and towel rack.  Plus the occasional gecko and spider.
The machine shop at the yard.  Need something made, they can do it.
The light switch at the "comfort station.  In typical anti American fashion(if they do it one way, we will do it another), these lights are off.  Flick the switch down and it turns on the lights.  UP is off.
More plugs and switches.  Note the different  style of outlet.  The whole world uses different styles of plugs.  When you leave the US, take as many plug adapters as you can.
The small grocery and general store at the boat yard.  Even has ice cream!
A small cantina at the yard for the workers and cruisers.  A simple basic menu revolving around chicken, fish and rice.
One of the many large fishing boats in the yard getting work done.
A smaller fishing boat getting it
The starboard side already planked and sealed.  Not an easy job to custom cut the boards.  They take off the old ones, clamp them to a new board, take chain saw and cut the new one.
The hospital at Kudat.
Here I am getting my sutures taken out by the receptionist from the front desk.  Doctor--we don
The nurse on the right is the one one that checked Tracy in for a checkup.  Nice bunch of happy women.
The check in waiting room and office.
The waiting area.  They were helping #13, we were number 30.  Everyone goes into a room with three desks and doctors.  No exam room unless you really need it.
The Pharmacy.  Drop off your prescription, take a number and wait.
A small store outside the hospital selling all kinds of snacks and drinks.
The Chinese Temple.  Built 100 years ago here in Kudat.
On the road to Kota Kinabalu.  Tons of rice paddies along the way.  If it
The Pizza Hut at one of the shopping malls in Kudat.
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